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The Movie Studio: January 2010 Edition

The Movie StudioSimilar to The Reading Studio that I introduced early this month, I'm now sharing my "movies that I watched" round-up through The Movie Studio.

As some of you might know, I've become film-obsessed about 7 months ago. I mean, I've always enjoyed watching movies, and have always fancied the idea of making movies. But, my intense feelings for films has definitely heightened recently. I still don't get to watch enough movies. But, I've at least started watching a lot more lately.

Now, I'm thinking that The Movie Studio is my chance to take some notes on these films --- and share these notes with you.

So, without further ado, here are some films that I've watched last month (warning: possible spoilers!)...

 Little Manhattan 1. Little Manhattan (2005) - This is a coming-of-age story of a young boy called Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) who had to learn to come to grips with his parents' divorce, as well as falling in love (and experiencing heartbreak) for the first time with school friend Rosemary (Charlie Ray).

Mini Review: Even though I wasn't exactly planning on watching it, I gave it a go when I was left with not many decent film choices on my flight back to Australia aboard South African Airways. And, I'm glad I did watch it.Sweet and humorous in some places, this movie had some special moments. Admittedly, even though I feel 11 years old seems a bit too young for "first love"... I had to reserve my personal views on the subject and just enjoy the story. It was a touching film!

Rating: 3/5

Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Charlie Ray | Director: Mark Levin

{ Buy at Amazon } | { Buy at Fishpond }

2. All About Steve (2009) - Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) is a walking trivia whiz in red boots and short skirts. With an intense love for words and facts, she puts her encyclopedic knowledge in to action as a crossword puzzle creator. However, after meeting a hunky TV camera man called Steve (Bradley Cooper) during a blind date, she has mistaken his attempts at an "early date exit" as encouragement. So, she writes a crossword that was just all about Steve. This then led her to getting fired from her job at the local newspaper. With this job loss, Mary ended up following Steve... and him, doing his best to dodge the stalker-like Mary.

Mini Review: Another aeroplane ride movie, All About Steve was an entertaining film that had some really cheesy and ridiculous moments. Although I felt myself cringing in some scenes, I also found myself laughing out loud in others. For a Hollywood romantic comedy, it's quite unusual and quirky. I especially liked the concept of "finding people who are as normal as you are"... It really resonated with me. And, I guess, although I'm not completely crazy about her, I do like me some Sandra Bullock movie every now and then.

Rating: 3/5

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper | Director: Phil Traill

{ Buy at Amazon }

 Raise Your Voice 3. Raise Your Voice (2004) - Terri (Hilary Duff) is a young, talented, aspiring singer who wished to take part in a prestigious summer music programme. With the help and encouragement of her brother Paul (Jason Ritter), Terri got accepted in to the programme, even though her father (David Keith) vehemently refuses. However, Paul dies in a tragic car crash and Terri was guilt-ridden and devastated. She almost didn't go to the programme, but her mother (Rita Wilson) and aunt (Rebecca de Mornay) both encourage her to proceed - with a cover-up story for her dad. In the music programme, she meets talented and handsome Jay (Oliver James), and discovers her voice.

Mini Review: When I saw this video at the library by chance, I decided to check it out. Partly because I AM a sucker for music/dancing/performing films. And yes, it's as cheesy as I expected it to be. But, I did feel a tear-jerking moment when Terri lost her brother in that car crash. And, although some songs were catchy, I wasn't really taken with any of it. I was, however, slightly taken with the leading guy Oliver James, an English actor. Ah. What can I say? I'm partial to British accents - especially if they have musical inclinations to top things off. Heh.   

Rating: 2.5/5

Stars: Hilary Duff, Oliver James, Jason Ritter, Rita Wilson, Rebecca de Mornay | Director: Sean McNamara

{ Buy at Amazon } | { Buy at Fishpond }

 Return To Me 4. Return To Me (2000) - Although Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) and Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver) were living such separate lives at the time, they were inevitably pulled together. This came when Bob's lovely wife (Joely Richardson) passed away in an accident, and a very sick Grace was given second lease on life when she became the recipient of the dead wife's heart. Through a strange twist of fate, Bob meets grace Grace and they fall in love. Only to find out later that the one thing that helped them get together was the same thing that might break them apart.

Mini Review: It is so hard not to love this movie. I'm a Minnie Driver fan. I like Joely Richardson. And, well... this movie was pretty much the reason I finally understood all that David Duchovny craziness (although I liked The X Files, I never really thought of him as hot there for some reason). Plus, the story was touching. Unbelievably corny and unreal, of course. But, I liked it anyway. I especially liked the Irish/Italian/American family fun that came with the story. The supporting characters were definitely a delight to watch too. That's why even though I've already seen it once before, I decided to borrow it again from the library when I saw that it was available. I found that it was still worth watching again.

Rating: 4/5

Stars: David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Joely Richardson | Director: Bonnie Hunt

{ Buy at Amazon } | { Buy at Fishpond }

 Twilight Limited Edition (2 Disc)5. Twilight (2009) - This is a movie based on the extremely popular book of the same title, written by Stephenie Meyer. To the uninitiated, this is a story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a teenage girl who just moved to the small town of Forks. There, she became the instant attention of fellow students and other residents. Particularly, the gorgeous and mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). However, Edward's no ordinary boy. He's a vampire who's attracted to her - and her blood.

Mini Review: After finishing the book just a couple of days earlier, I watched the library-borrowed video of Twilight. This is not always a good thing for me, as I tend to keep looking for stuff from the book and I often get disappointed. Thankfully, I didn't really expect much from the movie because I was still torn about my feelings towards the book. And yes, the movie didn't exactly help much. However, I must say that I probably liked Bella from the movie a bit more than the Bella in the book. Partly because there was less of the whining and the strange train of thoughts (although that hospital scene came close to the book Bella). And, Edward Cullen was... well... Robert Pattinson (I did say I'm partial to Brits, especially the musical kind --- heh). However, I wasn't exactly thrilled with some of the interpretations of the movie... I especially wasn't fond of that spider monkey line. Ergh. And, yeah, the "falling in love" bit seemed a bit too rushed. Not enough build up. The scene at the meadow and the car scene weren't quite what I had in mind. Having said that, I did enjoy seeing some of the scenes from the book come to life - the first meeting at the cafeteria, the lab scene, the baseball game... I even liked most of the casting (though the one who played Jasper looked really strange - but Alice Cullen was a beauty). In any case, my Twilight conversion is definitely in action, as I even decided to purchase the 2-disc edition of the DVD on Fishpond, when I found that they were running a 50% sale.   

Rating: 3.5/5

Stars: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, etc | Director: Catherine Hardwicke

{ Buy at Amazon } | { Buy at Fishpond }

So, what about you? What movies have you seen in January?

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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